Edwin Rodriguez will challenge Andre Ward for the Undisputed Super Middleweight world title on November 16th, 2013 in Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California.  According to the Vegas boxing odds, Ward is a 12/1 favorite over Rodriguez.

This should be a great fight as both boxers come into the game undefeated.  Ward is 26-0 with 14 knockouts.  He fights out of Oakland, California.

Edwin Rodriquez is a perfect 24-0 with 16 knockouts.  He fights out of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Ward is widely regarded as the second best pound-for-pound fighter in the world behind Floyd Mayweather, Jr.  But, he hasn’t been in the ring for over a year due to his recent shoulder surgery.  Rodriguez should be a difficult test for him after the layoff.

Ward hasn’t been beaten since he was 14 years old.  When you look at his credentials it’s easy to see why some think he might be the best in the world.  At full strength I think he would easily win this fight, but he is likely to be a little rusty.

In his last three fights nobody has even been close to beating him.   He possesses the rare combo of talents and a keen boxing mind.  He is subtle at times and just knows how to win.  He’s not the fastest.  He’s not the most powerful, but he manages to make his opponents less effective at what they want to do most.

The former Olympic gold medal winner has a lot of tricks up his sleeve.  He can fight inside or with space.  He gets in the trenches and also wins slugging matches.

But, this is as good of a time as any for Rodriguez to pull off the upset.  Edwin’s last outing with a one round blowout of heavyweight contender Denis Grachev in Monte Carlo.  Grachev was supposed to be a light heavyweight contender.  Grachev was coming off wins over top-ranked contenders Ismail Silakh and Zsolt Erdei.

The rest of Rodriguez’s undefeated record has been amassed by beating less than stellar competition.  But that last win validates Edwin as a possible threat for Ward.

Listen, you don’t win gold medals and professional titles if you aren’t an excellent fighter.  Ward has beat the best guys in the division and is going to be hungry after his layoff.  All reports suggest he wants to make a statement that he is back and a force to be reckoned with.

Rodriguez is going to be in the mix here, but Ward is a very good fighter and will have his hands full.  I think this fight goes the distance and the champion just edges out Rodriguez on the judge’s scorecard.